NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: December 8th

Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers take on the Denver Nuggets Thursday night.

This Wednesday card was wild. We had 11 games in total, but here we are left with a small board. We only have three games, but it should be a fun night. We have two great matchups between four contenders and the two worst defenses in the NBA facing each other in the other game. With that in mind, let’s begin.

injury report

  • Paul George (B2B) Questionable
  • Kawhi Leonard (B2B) Questionable
  • Norman Powell (Bar) OUT
  • John Wall (Knee) Doubtful
  • Marcus Morris (illness) Doubtful
  • Jimmy Butler (foot) Questionable
  • Gabe Vincent (knee) OUT
  • Tyler Herro (ankle) Doubtful
  • Jae’Sean Tate (ankle) OUT
  • Jakob Pöltl (square) OUT
  • Josh Richardson (ankle) OUT
  • Devin Vassell (knee) Doubtful
  • Kevin Porter Jr. (Knee) Doubtful
  • Jeremy Sochan (square) OUT
  • Michael Porter Jr. (heel) Doubtful
  • Gary Payton Jr. (Core) OUT
  • Nassir Little (hip) OUT
  • Josh Hart (ankle) Probably

Core plays

Kevin Porter Jr. (PG/SG – HOU): $7,300 DraftKings, $7,600 FanDuel
This kid was almost out of the league with some off-court troubles, but he really changed his career in Houston. KPJ has at least 27 DraftKings points in all but one game this year, averaging 36 fantasy points per game. He’s been even better lately, averaging 38 points in his last 10 games. That number should be easy to reach against San Antonio, who sit last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency.

Keldon Johnson (SF – SAS): $7,600 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
This guy is in a nightmarish gunfight, but he still produces fantasy value. KJ has averaged 36 DK points per game in his last five games, matching his 37-point average over his first 12 games of the year. A week-long shooting slump hurt his averages, but usage is still there for him to be a beast. Johnson averages 18.2 shots over 34 minutes a night. If he has that use against that 28th-ranked Houston defense, KJ should be in for a big night. Not to mention that he has at least 42 DK points in his last two games against the Rockets.

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Cash Game Considerations

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $11,300 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Jokic is the safest play on any board, and even more so on a three-play map. The big man has at least 39 DraftKings points in all but three games since the beginning of last year, averaging over 60 fantasy points per game. That’s why he’s the two-time reigning MVP and the best player on every board. Portland is also a phenomenon matchup, allowing the sixth most fantasy points to opposing centers.

Damian Lillard (PG – POR): $9,700 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
Dame changes everything for this Portland team. The former All-Star has at least 40 DraftKings points in nine of 12 games this year, with two of those limited due to a blowout and an injury. That means if he gets his usual 35 minutes, Lillard is a safe bet for 40-50 fantasy points. Dame has destroyed Denver in recent years, scoring at least 35 DK points in each of their last 10 encounters while averaging 51 points in those games.

GPP Goals

Alperen Sengun (PF/C – HOU): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
As long as Sengun gets the minutes he shouldn’t be that cheap. The big man has played at least 24 minutes in 14 games this season and averaged 37 points in those games. That’s amazing for a player in this price range, especially since Sengun has one of the best minutely averages in the NBA. The best part, though, is going head-to-head with San Antonio as Spurs give away the fourth-highest fantasy points to opposing centers. He had at least 28 DK points in all three matchups last year and did that damage in a limited role.

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Reggie Jackson (PG – LAC): $5,700 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
It feels like we’re getting a game without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. We expect these two guys to be in the second half of a back-to-back set and that doesn’t even include John Wall, Norman Powell, Luke Kennard and Marcus Morris who are on the injury report. If even half of those guys are seated, Jackson should see the workload that made him a $7,000 player last season. He should play 30-35 minutes and fire 15-20 shots, averaging over 30 fantasy points per game over the past year in that role.

value plays

Tre Jones (PG – SAS): $6,400 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
Jones doesn’t have much of an advantage, but using a point guard against the Rockets is cheat code. Houston concedes the most fantasy points to opposing ball handlers and laps the field in this statistic. We love that with Tres recent form averaging 35 DK points per game in his last five games. That total should be easy to reach in this matchup, making Jones a damn good sub-$7,000 value.

Terance Mann (PG/SG – LAC): $5,300 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel
We were just talking about how many players are on the Clippers injury report and that could force Mann into a 30-minute start. Whenever this guy gets a role like this, he’s a beast. Mann has played at least 31 minutes in 42 games since the beginning of last year and has averaged nearly 30 fantasy points per game over that span. It’s no surprise how he fills the stats list, and he’d be one of the best stats if the players above sit at the end.

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Advantageous prices

  • Alperen Sengun (PF/C – HOU): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
  • Jimmy Butler (SF/PF – MIA): $8,600 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel
  • Tyler Herro (PG/SG – MIA): $7,700 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
  • Kawhi Leonard (SF – LAC): $7,100 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
  • Jabari Smith (PF/C – HOU): $5,000 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
  • Jerami Grant (SF/PF – POR): $7,400 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
  • Justise Winslow (SF – POR): $4,900 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel


Joel Bartilotta is a featured author at FantasyPros. For more from Joel see his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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